In addition to direct strikes, lightning generates electrical surges that can damage electronic equipment some distance from the actual strike. Typical surge protectors will NOT protect equipment from a lightning strike. To the extent possible, unplug any appliances or electronic equipment from all conductors well before a thunderstorm threatens. This includes not only the electrical system, but also the reception system. If you plan to be away from your home when thunderstorms are possible, be sure to unplug unneeded equipment before you leave.
Scrape, don't rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
To save energy, wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents when-ever possible.
When shopping for a clothes washer, compare spin speeds. Higher spin speed can result in better water extraction and reduced drying times.
You know that old freezer "Uncle Harry" gave you to use in the basement so you could save money by storing on-sale food items? Well, it costs more to run that freezer for a year than you'll ever see in returns on food savings. If you're looking to save energy, and money, it makes more sense to have only one, well running, efficient refrigerator/freezer.
Avoid using the "rinse hold" on your dishwasher for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
When shopping for a clothes dryer, look for a model with a moisture sensor feature that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, it will reduce the wear and tear on clothes from over-drying.
When you take a vacation, don't forget to give your appliances a rest too. Turn off and unplug everything you can, set your water heater to the lowest setting and shut off the water supply to the dishwasher and washing machine.
Let your dishes air dry; if you don't have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a little so the dishes will dry faster.